Sunday, July 12, 2009

Osprey Banding

July means ospreys! The chicks are banded at 4-5 weeks old - older than Peregrine chicks are banded. The two chicks shown in this post are from the same clutch, but actually a few days apart in age. There are two bands put on - one is a color band, that is easier to read from a distance, and the other is the silver US Fish and Wildlife Service band. The chicks have orange eyes, which will turn yellow as they get older. Ospreys are interesting in their migration habits - the females usually leave to head south before the males do, they tend to go farther, and are less likely to return to the same spot they were hatched in than males. They also do not come back from their southern migration for 18 months on their first trip down. I included a few photos of the parents as they flew over. Can you see the dihedral (the "V") in the wing shape?

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